Asides from SECA’s work with councils we decided it would be great to encourage more personal action to tackle climate change. We are going to suggest one idea each month for a combined action that SECA members can get behind, and forward to their own friends, families and networks. By joining forces we figured we could really multiply our impact!
What better way to start than by linking in with ‘The Woodland Trusts Big Climate Fightback‘. On 30th November, there is a call for 1 million people to join UK’s biggest mass tree-planting campaign.
Whilst governments wait for some magical machine to gobble up all the CO2 we are forgetting that we already have them. Trees. Years of evolution have created the most beautiful, effective machines which grow themselves and eat CO2 for breakfast.
The UK needs 50 million new trees per year to hit net zero carbon emissions by 2050. This is where we all come in.
Local groups are being encouraged to run tree-planting events and councils are being asked for permission to plant trees on their land, or outside schools and other publicly owned properties. Businesses are also being urged to plant trees on their own premises if possible.
People without gardens or the means to plant their own trees are being encouraged to spot potential sites and ask their local council or the landowner for permission to plant.
By 2025, the Woodland Trust – the charity behind the Big Climate Fightback – hopes to have planted a tree for every person in the country. All of the trees provided by the charity will be native broadleaf varieties, such as oak, birch and hawthorn.
That doesn’t stop us also planting more fruit and nut trees and even better….forest gardens. Forest gardening is a low-maintenance sustainable plant-based food production and agroforestry system based on woodland ecosystems, incorporating fruit and nut trees, shrubs, herbs, vines and perennial vegetables which have yields directly useful to humans. Making use of companion planting, these can be intermixed to grow in a succession of layers, to build a woodland habitat.
According to the Committee on Climate Change, the government’s statutory advisers on the climate crisis, the UK should have 1.5bn new trees by 2050 to meet the net zero carbon target, set in line with international scientific warnings on the climate crisis. The government has set a target of 5,000 hectares a year for England alone, but planting rates have fallen well short of that, with last year only 1,420 hectares (3,508 acres) of new woodland planted.
However, trees will also need to be cared for after planting to ensure they survive, so groups are encouraged to participate beyond the planting stage. The Woodland Trust also warned that tree planting alone was not enough. “As individuals, we all need to do much more to reduce our impact on the planet by cutting emissions and reducing pressure on resources,” said Darren Moorcroft, the charity’s chief executive.
So let’s get planning to plant and sign up here to be a part of the movement!
Nicola Peel, SECA Steering Group member
Note on future monthly actions:
Nicola will be contacting SECA member groups over the next few weeks to get ideas for future monthly actions. The plan is to come up with a programme for several months ahead so member groups that are interested in taking part can gear up to get involved. To get in touch with Nicola, email her at SECA.email@example.com
Woodland trust campaign